Thursday, April 25, 2013

I read it in the paper, so it must be true.

I'm not sure if we've hit some kind of weird generation cycle on the interwebs, or if it's suddenly 1998 again, but in the past week or so, I've seen like a shitzillion posts about things like the Robin Williams peace plan, lottery winners giving out millions of dollars if you share their pictures on Facebook, and Super Venom Ass Spiders. We're just a gas station AIDS needle and a stolen kidney/bathtub full of ice away from fucking Snopes bingo, people.

Apparently, all you have to do is attribute the story to somebody vaguely influential and maybe add a picture, and people will believe it, no matter how batshit crazy it is. Here's how it works:

Everybody needs to read this RIGHT NOW! It will blow your mind!

Historians at Humboldt University in Berlin have just discovered a cache of lost documents from before the Second World War. The following is a speech that Adolf Hitler gave in Berlin on August 31, 1939 (translated from German, of course).

This picture of Hitler giving a speech totally proves that he actually said all this.
"My fellow Germans, I have a few things I would like to share with you on this beautiful late summer day.

I really like unicorns and rainbows. Also flowers and happiness. I think everybody in the world should be allowed to live the way they want without being discriminated against by bigoted ass clowns.

Last night, I had this awesome dream about wizards. There was this little boy in England who was attacked by an evil wizard, but he didn't die because PROTECTION MAGIC, BITCHEZ! The spell reflected back and hit the evil wizard instead, so now everybody thinks he's dead, but he's not, and he wants to come back to kill the boy. I think I'll write a book or seven about it.

Also also, I had this great idea for this thing made out of electricity and silicon that will allow people around the entire world to have instant access to information and pictures of adorable cats.

Finally, with the weekend coming, I urge everyone to be careful and not do anything foolish, like invade Poland or commit the worst genocide in the history of humankind."

And that's how Hitler wasn't a genocidal fuckhead and also wrote Harry Potter and invented the Internet.
P.S. If you don't share this with everyone forever, you hate puppies and love cancer.

P.P.S. Facebook is going to start charging this summer, but it will stay free for you if you hit Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Enter on your profile page.

Monday, April 15, 2013

For Boston.

I had planned to post something today whining about how I broke my ankle last week and how much it sucks that I won't be able to skate for a couple of months. I'll still post it eventually, but not today. Today there are people who will never walk again because they lost limbs—or lives.

My heart goes out to all of them. It goes out to their families, and to all of those who are still missing loved ones. It goes out to the families of the Newtown victims, who were in a VIP section close to where the explosions occurred (the last mile of the marathon was dedicated to the victims of that recent tragedy). Though it doesn't sound like any of them were injured, I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through today—again.

The authorities don't know who's responsible for it yet. People who were actually there don't know, so I won't even pretend to have the first idea who is responsible for it. I've already heard people throwing around words like terrorist, and blaming it on various ethnic, religious, or political groups. If you're one of these people, please do everyone a favor and shut your fucking face hole. We don't need that shit right now, and even if any of those statements turn out to be true, you didn't know that, so you're still just an asshole. If you actually know something about someone involved, here's how you can do something useful: get the fuck off the internet and go call the tip hotline at 1-800-494-TIPS (8477).

I've spent a lot of time today trying to follow the story as best I could. I've seen a lot of graphic things and a lot of terrifying things. Some of those images will probably stick with me forever, but I'm not going to share any of that here. You can see all that shit on practically every news site in America. Probably, you already have. It'll probably be a while before we get to see much else.

BUT: I have seen a lot of things that I don't want to forget, and I'm afraid the mainstream media will miss every single one of them. Next time you see the footage on TV, don't pay attention to the explosions. Watch the people. Here's what you'll see: people scared, then people running. But not running away—running towards the explosions, to help people. No one knows what the fuck just happened, and there are still all these people running towards that unknown to help. I've seen stories about runners who had already finished the marathon going to donate blood, or journalists who had run it staying to cover the story.

I've seen every social media platform I use exploding with positive words and ways to help. I've seen about a million people sharing Mr. Rogers' words about looking for those people who are helping. I've seen people offering beds to complete strangers who have no place to go. I've seen people reminding us that even when this kind of shit happens, it's not all of humanity that's gone wrong. About a million people have posted Patton Oswalt's Facebook status as well:
Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity."

But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."
This. This is what I want to remember about today, about humanity.

There are lots of ways that you can help, or get help. Here are the ones I know about:

For finding people:
You can call the helpline for families of victims/to locate people at 617-635-4500.
The Red Cross has set up a website to check in, or to find people:
Google has one, too:

If you need someone to talk to:
You can call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
You can also visit their website:

If you need help talking to your children about what happened:

And finally, if you need someplace to stay, or if you want to offer someone a place to stay, you can check out what is quite probably the greatest spreadsheet in the history of humanity:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Holy shit, you guys. This is real.

I'm about 167% sure this is just one of Google's April Fool's Day things, but this just happened and if it's not I don't know how to make sense of the universe anymore.

About a year ago, I submitted a redesigned snark logo to the Sparks McGee tumblr, which was, in turn, based on this blog post by Wil Wheaton. Since then, I've noticed that a lot of people are finding me here by searching for "i've got a course you can plot." Mainly out of curiosity, I Googled it, and this happened:

In case you can't tell, the first result is the Sparks McGee tumblr. The second one is where I posted about the Sparks McGee tumblr
actually posting my submission. That third one? The original post where Wil Wheaton
Not funny, Google.